If you're reading this, chances are you're no stranger to the age-old debate of cold calling vs. cold emailing. Some salespeople swear by the phone, while others prefer to craft carefully-worded emails to win over potential clients.

Over the past decade, I’ve tried my hand at both. And here’s the truth– both methods work well for generating leads and getting sales. But the choice ultimately depends on your personal style and the situation at hand.

In this article, we'll explore the differences between cold calling and cold emailing and help you figure out which approach might work best for you.

Difference Between Cold Calling vs Cold Emailing

1. When to Use Cold Calling

Cold calling is the good old-fashioned method of picking up the phone and reaching out directly to potential clients with whom you have no prior relationship or contact. It's like going on a blind date, except you're trying to win over a customer instead of a romantic partner.

Here are the prime situations where cold calling shines:

  • You're selling high-ticket items or services that require a more personal touch.
  • You're targeting decision-makers who are harder to reach via email or social media.
  • You want to establish a human connection and build trust with potential clients.
  • You need immediate results, such as scheduling a meeting or closing a deal on the spot.

Despite the rise of digital communication, cold calling can still be a powerful weapon in your sales arsenal, especially in B2B sales. Just make sure to do your research beforehand and have a clear pitch ready to go.

2. When to Use Cold Emailing

Cold emailing, conversely, is a more indirect approach where you send unsolicited messages to targets to open up the line of communication and hopefully guide them through your sales funnel.

Cold emailing works particularly well when:

  • You want to reach a large number of potential clients quickly and efficiently.
  • You're targeting customers in industries that are more digitally focused, such as tech or e-commerce.
  • You want to follow up with leads who have expressed interest in your product or service but haven't yet made a purchase.
  • You want to nurture relationships with potential clients over time and keep them engaged.

It’s a great way to start conversations with potential clients and generate leads. I like to use cold emailing as my starting point, and then once I have my lead hooked, we can hop on a call where I can close the deal.

3. Pros & Cons of Cold Calling

As with everything, cold calling has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them:

Pros of Cold Calling

Personalized Interaction

When you're cold calling, you get to speak directly to your potential customers. This means you can build a real connection with them and show off your winning personality.

It's much easier to make a lasting impression when you're talking to someone directly rather than being behind a computer screen.

Dealing with Objections

Everyone hates being told "no," but when you're cold calling, you get the chance to dig a little deeper and find out what's really behind the objection. Maybe the prospect is worried about price, or maybe they're concerned about the time commitment.

Whatever the issue, you can address it in real time and try to turn that "no" into a "yes."

Getting Information

Cold calls are a great way to learn more about your prospects and their businesses. You can ask targeted questions and gather details and insights you can use later on. With a well-prepared script, you can get way more information than you would using emails.

Control the Conversation

What I like most about cold calling is that it lets you control the tempo of the conversation and guide the prospect toward the outcome you want.

You can highlight the benefits of your product or service and address any objections they may have right then and there.

This level of control can be very useful in sales situations, as it allows you to stay focused and keep the conversation on track.

Source: Indeed

Cons of Cold Calling

Cold Calling Is Disruptive

Let's be real, when someone gets a call out of the blue, they're not usually thrilled about it. Most of the time, they won't even answer. That's why it can take an average of 8 attempts to get through to your prospect.

I've had the phone hung up in my face more times than I can remember, and it's not exactly the most motivating experience.

Low Success Rate

Speaking of getting through to your prospect, the success rate of cold calling is pretty low. According to research from Baylor University, it can be as low as 0.3%. That's right; you might as well be trying to sell ice in Antarctica.

However, this can be bypassed with proper prospecting and qualification.

Expensive and Difficult to Scale

Finally, cold calling is expensive and difficult to scale. Sales reps can only speak to one person at a time, which means you'll need a lot of reps to make a dent in your prospect list. And let's not forget the cost of training those reps, building a sales team, and managing the whole process.

4. Pros & Cons of Cold Emailing

It’s no secret that I’m partial to cold emailing– I mean, I did develop Findymail to help find and verify email addresses. But let’s take an objective look at its strengths and weaknesses.

Pros of Cold Email

Cold Email Is Highly Scalable

Let's face it, we all only have so much time in the day. Spending 10-15 minutes on the phone with a potential prospect might not seem like a lot of time, but what if you could reach hundreds of prospects in the same amount of time?

That's where cold emailing really takes the spot! You can send out hundreds (or even thousands!) of templatized emails to potential customers with just a few clicks of a button and a good cold outreach tool.

And the best part? You don't even have to have a sales team to do it! With the right tools and resources, anyone can learn how to get higher cold email conversion rates on their way to success.

Track Your Metrics with Ease

Tracking your success and KPIs is a crucial aspect of any sales process. How else will you know what works and what doesn't?

Since everything is digital with cold emails, you can easily keep track of your response rates, open rates, click-through rates, and more. You can test out different methods and pitches to see what resonates with your audience.

And if something's not working, you can easily adjust your approach and try again until you find what works best.

Get Impressive Response Rates

Yes, both cold emailing and cold calling are a numbers game. But with cold emails, you can send out more emails, which means your chances of getting a positive response are higher.

In fact, the average response rate for cold emails is around 8.5%. But with the right tactics and strategies, you can increase that number to 40% or higher!

By personalizing your emails, crafting catchy subject lines, and providing value to your prospects, you can get the results you're looking for.

Cold Email is Less Disruptive and More Convenient

We all know how annoying it can be to receive a call from a telemarketer in the middle of dinner or while you're trying to work. As mentioned in the cons section, cold calling can be seen as intrusive and disruptive and can really turn off potential customers.

But with cold emails, your prospects can open and read your message on their own time without feeling pressured or interrupted.

Plus, it only takes them a minute or two to quickly read what you have to say, which is less time-consuming than a phone sales call.

Originally seen on my LinkedIn

Cons of Cold Email Outreach

Cold Email Feels Less Personal

There's no substitute for hearing someone's voice and feeling their energy. With cold emails, you're missing out on that personal touch.

Of course, there are still ways to make your emails personalized and engaging. For example, you can research the prospect and find common ground or personalize the subject line to catch their attention.

It’s Harder to Gather Information

Since you can't respond in real time, it can be challenging to gather the information you need from the prospect. But don't worry; with some forward thinking and a little bit of ingenuity, you can anticipate what their responses might be and tailor your email accordingly.

Similarly, you can use B2B contact databases and data enrichment services to get as much information as possible on the leads before crafting that email.

Chance of Ending Up in Spam Folder

Cold emails are often sent in bulk and can easily trigger spam filters. Even if you have a great email, it won't do you much good if it ends up in the spam or the Promotions folder.

However, there are ways to avoid this, such as avoiding certain spam trigger words and phrases, using email warmup, and making sure your email is well-formatted and free of errors.

Cold Calls vs. Cold Emails: Which Method Wins?

When we consider the modern business landscape, it's clear that cold emailing has some distinct advantages.

In a digital age where most people are bombarded with phone calls, emails are often preferred. Plus, with the right tactics, the response rates for cold emails make it a worthwhile approach.

So, while cold calling can still have its place in certain industries, cold emailing is the clear winner for modern sales and marketing.

(This doesn’t mean you can’t hop on a warm call, though!)

And if you want to take your cold emailing to the next level, be sure to check out Findymail. With real, verified email addresses, you can take your cold emailing game to the next level.

But whichever you choose, good luck and happy selling!